Optimal Magnetic Sensor Vests for Cardiac Source Imaging
Magnetocardiography (MCG) non-invasively provides functional information about the heart. New room-temperature magnetic field sensors, specifically magnetoresistive and optically pumped magnetometers, have reached sensitivities in the ultra-low range of cardiac fields while allowing for free placement around the human torso. Our aim is to optimize positions and orientations of such magnetic sensors in a vest-like arrangement for robust reconstruction of the electric current distributions in the heart. We optimized a set of 32 sensors on the surface of a torso model with respect to a 13-dipole cardiac source model under noise-free conditions. The reconstruction robustness was estimated by the condition of the lead field matrix. Optimization improved the condition of the lead field matrix by approximately two orders of magnitude compared to a regular array at the front of the torso. Optimized setups exhibited distributions of sensors over the whole torso with denser sampling above the heart at the front and back of the torso. Sensors close to the heart were arranged predominantly tangential to the body surface. The optimized sensor setup could facilitate the definition of a standard for sensor placement in MCG and the development of a wearable MCG vest for clinical diagnostics.